The Kingdom of Bahrain is set to reopen its embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus in the upcoming week, a diplomatic source told the Russian news agency Sputnik on December 27.
“The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain will resume its activities next week, with the beginning of the new year 2019 … Other countries will reopen their embassies in the coming months,” Sputnik quoted the source as saying.
Sputnik’s report was not a surprise, as the last few months witnessed some improvement in the relations between Damascus and Manama. Last September, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was filmed having a public warm chat with his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly session.
If the report is confirmed, Bahrain will be following the footsteps of the UAE that became the first Gulf state to reopen its embassies in Damascus on December 27.
“The decision of the UAE to return its political and diplomatic work in Damascus comes … as a result of believing that the next stage requires Arab presence and communication with the Syrian file in the interest of Syria, its people, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, said on Twitter.
The UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, al-Kuwait and many other Arab countries closed their embassies in Damascus during 2012. The step was a part of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy to change the regime in Syria.